Meet Our Volunteers

Meet Our Volunteers

Volunteers are our most valuable resource at The Soldiers Project in serving our mission of providing free, confidential and ongoing psychological services to veterans serving post 9/11 and their loved ones. Whatever their motivations may be for helping, our volunteers are an invaluable part of our efforts in assisting service members reintegrate back into civilian life. Meet a few of them and learn why they volunteer for The Soldiers Project.

Beth Siegel, LCSW, PsyD
Southern California

“Several years ago I was listening to StoryCorps Military Voices Initiative on NPR. A veteran was talking about his experience in the battle at Fallujah. He had returned after being involved in a mortar shell blast wherein he lost his legs. I remember feeling angry and helpless. I knew from that moment that I had to find a way to give back to my country. I had heard of TSP from my affiliation with the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies. Attending the TSP conference soon after joining for my trainings, I felt that I must do whatever I can. TSP has allowed me to give in a way that honors the voices of those who have served and live to tell about it. I can never re-pay the Veterans who have entrusted me with their stories. I have been truly blessed by my participation in this invaluable organization.”

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 6.42.31 PMMonica McGarva, LMFT
Southern California

“Prior to becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist, I worked as a newswriter for KNX News Radio in Southern California. I remember writing a story on a Vietnam Veteran some thirty years ago. He was cheered and welcomed with smiles, hand shakes and hugs from loved ones. It made a good news story because it was such an unusual event. Both as a citizen and a therapist, I deeply respect members of the armed forces and dislike the thought of trauma haunting their lives. I have never been in the military but helping service members loosen the grip of trauma in their lives is how I can serve my country.”

The Soldiers Project Volunteers

Kane Phelps, MA, LMFT, CT
Southern California

“Not having performed any military service, I feel an obligation to give back to my great country. Observing and respecting the tremendous dedication and sacrifice made by our veterans, I feel compelled to provide assistance. Having developed clinical skills that address many of the issues confronting our veterans, I get tremendous satisfaction from witnessing my clients make huge strides forward in their lives. I relate strongly to ‘The Hero’s Journey’ and so do most of my clients with The Soldiers Project. It makes for a strong therapeutic alliance.”

The Soldiers Project Volunteers

Lani B. Stoner, LMFT
Sacramento Chapter

“My father and husband were both in the military. When the 9/11 attacks happened, I began to have a strong feeling that there would be a large population of those who served or who were serving in the military and that it would be important to have therapy readily available for them. When I connected with The Soldiers Project, I was excited to finally have a way to connect with those serving in the current conflicts or who became vets since 9/11. I believe there is a deeply felt need that I can help meet. Volunteering with The Soldiers Project is an opportunity to give back with my skills and knowledge—helping them to heal and return home.” 

Terry Green 200Terry Green, MS., LMFTA
Washington State

“I volunteer for The Soldier Project because I am the wife of a Vietnam Veteran who has personally witnessed the effects of combat trauma in my husband, and as a spouse with our children living with PTSD. Through trial and error we learned to mitigate the impacts on our family. Veteran families are the most underserved population. I believe that by giving veterans and their families the tools and support they need, we can help families become a safe, secure base and reduce the divorce rate (and suicide rate) among veterans as well as increasing overall life satisfaction for the entire family.”

The Soldiers Project Volunteers

Gwenn A. Nusbaum, LCSW
New York Chapter

“Volunteerism has always been an invaluable part of my life and professional development. It is an honor to serve those who are often neglected and underserved, carrying both visible and invisible wounds. My 30-year career as a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist, as well as specialization in treating traumatized populations, in addition to teaching and writing in this area, has enabled me to lend my expertise to The Soldiers Project and give something back to the men and women who serve us, returning to civilian life with a need to be understood and supported, as well as have someone bear witness to what they have experienced. A highlight of my involvement has been to bring my passion for writing—I am a published poet—to vets vis-a-vis workshops I offer employing my skills as an Amherst Writers and Artists Certified Workshop Leader. This affords participants an opportunity to explore their voices as writers and tell their stories through this expressive and creative means.”

The Soldiers Project Volunteers

Lynne Hostein, MA, LMFT
Southern California

“I’ve been seeing OEF and OIF veterans for the past two years with The Soldiers Project. I first became aware of a lack of concern for combat soldiers returning home from Vietnam while I lived in Canada. When I moved to California, I created friendships with several people who had been exposed to Agent Orange, and who also suffered the indignity of the official denial of its effects. I have the deepest interest in helping people overcome trauma, especially for those whom mental health services carry stigma and shame. The Soldiers Project provides me an opportunity to help veterans.”  

Miriam Koenig photoMiriam Koenig, MFT, LPCC
Southern California

“Several years ago I became increasingly aware of the struggles that many OEF and OIF veterans were experiencing. I began actively looking for a way to use my professional skills to help and discovered The Soldiers Project. I like seeing veterans in my office on an ongoing basis without a limit on the number of visits. Our veterans deserve to have their stories heard and to have a safe place to talk about their struggles. That is why I volunteer for the Soldiers Project. The time I have spent working with veterans and their loved ones has been deeply meaningful and I have grown both personally and professionally from my work with The Soldiers Project.”  

Rabbah Rona Matlow The Soldiers ProjectRabbah Rona Matlow, MA, ME
Washington State

“I am a retired U.S. Navy officer and a veteran on total disability. Unfortunately, this keeps me from seeking employment. As a rabbi, pastoral counselor and certified peer counselor, volunteering for The Soldiers Project provides me with a meaningful existence in helping fellow veterans. I feel strongly that veterans with PTSD need all the help that they can get. As a disabled veteran myself, I understand their experiences, language and situations more intimately than a civilian counselor might. I also feel a huge need to support veterans, as I was not able to return to active duty as a chaplain to support the troops during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Volunteering for The Soldiers Project gives me personal and professional satisfaction, and makes my life much more fulfilling.”

In Their Own Words: Why Our Therapists Volunteer for The Soldiers Project